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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have never cruised on P&O before, or adults only, so were a little apprehensive for this cruise. We were given an arrival slot of 3pm but this worried me about being late so we left home at 1pm and only live in Portsmouth so ... Read More
We have never cruised on P&O before, or adults only, so were a little apprehensive for this cruise. We were given an arrival slot of 3pm but this worried me about being late so we left home at 1pm and only live in Portsmouth so didn’t have far to drive. At the terminal, check in was a swift process and they never mentioned us being early so within about twenty minutes we were in our cabin with our luggage arriving very quickly after us. The balcony cabin on B deck (Britannia) was very spacious with loads of storage space, which was a worry of my husband as I had 6 suitcases. There was a mini bar, with a range of drinks and snacks and we got two small free bottles of water. We took everything out of the fridge to put our own stuff in. There is an option which we also took which was buying 6 large bottles of water too for about £10. There was a beautiful flower in a vase which was really unusual and bloomed for the whole of the cruise. There was a seating area and the chairs on the balcony were nice. We had binoculars which were not that great, lucky we had our own, and a map book in the cabin too. The bathroom was adequate size, with a bath and shower over and lots of storage space again. There was one of those old fashion hairdryers on the wall in the bathroom which wasn’t very good but there was another in the cabin which was good. The room attendant came in and introduced herself to us which was nice. As we had two rooms next to each other (travelled with my sister and her husband) we asked the room attendant to ask for the adjoining balcony door to be removed. This did happen when we were next in port. As stated this was an adult only cruise and most of the people were very nice. Others however seemed to think they were more important than us and were rude. They didn’t queue for food or lifts and seemed to know the staff very well so most probably regulars. One thing that really bugged me was the sunbeds! They are supposed to be used within 30 or items removed. I spent many days by the pool and many days sunbeds were reserved and the ‘owners’ only returned for a few minutes at a time through the day. Leaving people waiting for a lounger. I would have, however, asked a member of staff if I could not find a single lounger. The ports on this cruise were amazing and the tours we bought with P&O were good value for money. Equally on some shore days we just jumped on the hop on hop off bus/boat. In Venice it was cheaper to buy the hop on hop off boat ticket than to pay P&O to take you into the city on their tender. The food was amazing on this cruise and as we were ‘trying to be good’ we mostly ate in the restaurant rather than the buffet as I think you tend to over eat there. Afternoon tea is not to be missed. (Yogi, our server was great, table 11 in freedom dinning) The cinema is great and we watched some good films and I also went to the gym for classes and use of the machines which was great too. I never found the sauna. There were lots of talks and activities for a range of people however, it was mostly not to our taste. I would have loved to learn to dance but hubby had a bad leg so couldn’t participate. There was bingo and quiz nights too which were fun. The men enjoyed the World Cup, well mostly because sometimes the system wasn’t tested and parts of games were missed and people had to move to other areas or own room to watch. One frustrating thing was buying pints of beer in different lounges/bars. The price booklets are the same in all venues but waiters are reluctant to go to another bar to get you a pint and try to sell you the bottles of beer which works out more expensive. There is tea and coffee available from the machine in the buffet or after a meal in the restaurant and these are also topped up every day in your cabin, you also get 2 packets of biscuits every day along with a chocolate on your pillow each nifght. The public areas were always clean and shorts were not allowed in any restaurant in the evening, nor was swimwear, which was nice. The staff at reception made us feel like it was an inconvenience to talk to them sometimes but the staff in the shops were friendly. The prices, as expected in the shops were steep so never really bought anything. The muster of the lifeboats seemed a little disorganised and we were all squeezed into a small area with the staff member not really having control of the passengers. The entertainment was ok, there were lots of things to choice from every day and evening, some of it wasn’t to our taste or liking, but we did enjoy the four tunes, and some other bands. The resident group were ok and I enjoyed the queen night. I also enjoyed the magician. Disembarking was crazy we chose to get off at 9 am and were told to go to the theatre and wait, but when we got of the ship our luggage was everywhere with no real organisation. On the whole I would consider going with P&O again but mainly due to the size of the cabin and the food. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
We have just returned from a P&O short cruise to Guernsey and Zeebrugge on the Oriana. A holiday didn't get off to a good start as the ship could not dock due to high winds and our trip was cut short by 24 hours. Our four ... Read More
We have just returned from a P&O short cruise to Guernsey and Zeebrugge on the Oriana. A holiday didn't get off to a good start as the ship could not dock due to high winds and our trip was cut short by 24 hours. Our four night cruise became a 3 night cruise. We live in Lancashire and had already arrived in Southampton before we learned this and it was difficult to gain infromation as the P&O staff were not in uniform so it was hard to establish who they were amongst the passengers. However I take my hat off to P&O for springing into action and finding accomodation for over 1500 passengers in and around Southampton which included dinner and wine. As if this wasn't enough they then added £30 per passenger to our cabin card for spending on board the ship and have written to us confirming we will receive a 50% percent refund of the cost of our holiday to compensate us for the lost night at sea. We were collected from our hotel on embarkation day by coach and taken to the teminal to be checked in and boarded. The entire process took less than an hour and 30 minutes. Very impressive!. You would never get that from an airline. We had an inside cabin which was sufficient for the time we planned to spend in it. The bed was very comfortable and our cabin steward kept it spotlessly clean for us. The nightly turn down service with little chocoloates left on our pillows was a nice touch. The ship itself is a little dated and could do with a refit. The pools looked overdue a clean and many of the pictures in the coridors leading to the cabins had been wiped with a damp cloth and allowed to dry with smears which gave the ship a slightly unkempt look which was a shame as there were other areas that were immaculate. The gym was suprisingly large and well equipped for the size of the ship and the spa looked ok through the window although we never actually went in. The dining rooms were elegant and we particularly liked the ambience of Crows Nest bar with the talented jazz musicians who provided very pleasant entertainment. There was plenty of other entertainment on the ship. We weren't on long enough to sample most of it but there is something for everyone. We were very well fed with excellent five course meals in the evening although we did not always get what we had ordered. We were on freedom dining which meant that we could attend the Peninsular Restaurant at a time to suit us. We had to queue but it wasn't for long and were seated with lovely people every night. The Gala Dinner was lovely with just about everybody wearing black tie and evening gowns. The buffet breakfast was a bit of a free for all, not enough places to sit inside and was not worth the queue. We ordered room service on our final evening and this was very good. The cost of drinks both soft and alcoholic is very reasonable with a bottle of Prosecco costing less that £20 and table wine is also at very good value. The shore excursions are also very well priced, We did the Bruges on your Own and this cost less for the two of us than a return taxi would have cost. We had prebooked a couples massage for our sea day and although the sea day was cancelled we still went ahead with the treatment and shortened our time ashore. I have to be honest and say it was a total rip off. It didn't compare to any professional massage I have received in a salon but cost twice as much at £146 for both of us with an additional 10% added to our cabin card on board for gratuities. The treatment room was a bit clinical but at the same time a little grubby. I appreicate that scented candles would probably create a fire hazard but a bit of ambient lighting and another form of scent would have given it more atmosphere. It was carried out by two girls of oriental descent one of whom sniffed constantly and to be honest it all felt a bit sleazy. Our eyes were kept covered for most of it and towards the end we both became aware of something with a strong smell of vicks or eucalyptus being wafted under our noses. When the treatment was complete we were asked to dress and remain in the room. The therapists returned with water from a cooler for us to drink but then came the hard sell of Elemis products that they tried to convince us they had used by asking us to smell them. The smell was similar but I'm certain it was not the aroma we experienced when our eyes were covered. Nice try but you didn't fool us! In conclussion I would definitely cruise with P&O again and would even sail on the Oriana again too. She's an old girl but has a lovely faded charm. I will opt for a fixed time to dine but would still be happly with an inside cabin as I did hear that the outsides with a balcony got a little cold at night. Well done to P&O for dealing so efficiently with the crisis on what should have been our first day/night and thank you for the lovely accomodation and dinner you provided. We look forward to sailing with you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We were travelling from Southampton to Madeira and then into the Canary Isles. We had chosen a suite which was really nice, clean, spacious and even given the time of year we had plenty of opportunity to utilise it. Boarding was fine in ... Read More
We were travelling from Southampton to Madeira and then into the Canary Isles. We had chosen a suite which was really nice, clean, spacious and even given the time of year we had plenty of opportunity to utilise it. Boarding was fine in Southampton the vehicle drop off was very quick and efficient and getting on board didn't take too long, what didn't work was that although asked to attend around midday, the rooms are not available so you are hustled into the Conservatory self service restaurant, which everyone seems to complain about and we called "The Zoo". I felt particularly since there are only a couple if dozen suites in particular, the room should have been ready as we had the romantic notion of going to our room and opening the champagne, instead I found myself in a canteen.....very disappointing. Things improved as we got to our room, we liked the size of the ship not so huge as to feel lost, food was extremely good, we just avoided the canteen. During the day the Al Fresco was fine for a light meal, lunch and afternoon tea available in the other two main restaurants and dinner was very nice in the Orient Restaurant which had set dinner times. It was good to see most people made a decent effort for the black tie events even on one day where it was rough and a lot of people were suffering. The average age was about 65 however there were some younger people on board and I don't think age matters, there were plenty of talks, dances, movies and shows during the day, the art class was particularly good. We didn't do the organised shore excursions we just walked into the towns in Madeira, La Gomera, Las Palmas, Lanzarote and Lisbon, all were very interesting and the weather was nice, dry and predominantly sunny. I felt that due to the policy of cutting prices so severely before sailing there was a definite element who would not normally cruise, this took away some of the exclusivity and feeling that you were among friends. The people who were at our evening dining table struggled to hold a civil conversation, some thought should be put into who you are seated with as this ruined our enjoyment of dining. Due to this we booked the separate dining of Marco Pierre White and the Sorrento on a number of occasions, both were very good and worth it though but again this spoiled the trip as did the fact that although the suites are quite expensive again there are no real perks apart from the odd fruit basket or flowers, some cruises have separate lounges, fast track embarkation etc and we felt P&O lacked that special feel. Staff were very pleasant throughout and worked extremely hard, we had a pleasant experience but I don't think I would use P&O again unless I went cut price, last minute and felt I was getting some sort of bargain! Read Less
Oriana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 3.8
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms N/A 4.1
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.6
Family 2.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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